April 14, 1952 - February 11, 2022
Ramona (“Mona”) Marie Almeida passed away peacefully at BSA Hospital in Amarillo, TX, on February 11, 2022. She was born in Fort Morgan, CO, on April 14, 1952, to Robert Mendoza & Antonia Saucedo. Mona spent her early years enjoying life as a kid and often accompanied her stepfather to “work" as a laborer in the fields picking cotton or harvesting other crops. She loved telling stories about how she would fill up her gathering bag and cash it in for enough money to be able to buy a cold soda, which always seemed to taste so good in the heat of the day. She attended high school at Liberal High School completing her sophomore year before entering the labor force to help the family financially. In 1968, Mona met and married Brian Hantla, who was active in the Air Force branch of the U.S. Military. Her first child, Jeri Garcia was born in 1970 in Liberal, KS. The military stationed Mona and Brian Hantla in Denver, CO, where Mona and Brian ultimately divorced in 1972. She met and married Jorge Almeida, Sr. in Denver, CO, in 1973. One cute memory Mona used to share was how Jorge, Sr. would be out shoveling snow from the driveway and the sidewalks only to be showered with the passing snowplows negating all of his efforts. To be closer to family–or quite possibly because of the snowplow incidents–they moved with their daughter, Jeri Garcia, to Meade, KS, in 1975. Daughter, Maria (“Mari”) Almeida, was born in 1976 sparking jealousy and rage in older sister, Jeri, because Jeri wanted to be an only child. To this day, the memory of the trip with Dad to the hospital to welcome sister, Mari, is laughed about amongst family. That and her expressed anger at the baby sister getting a diamond ring for her first Christmas, especially since Jeri only received a red wagon. Her feelings of rage would subside quickly as Mona gave birth to Victoria (“Vicki,” “Tori”) Almeida in 1977. Approximately two years later, in 1979, and with three girls in tow, Jorge, Sr. and Mona moved to Liberal and resided in an apartment. In 1980, Jorge, Sr. and Mona purchased their first home in Liberal, KS. In 1982, Jorge Almeida, Jr. was welcomed into the mix as the first boy in the family. For Mona, one boy was not enough, so four years later, in 1986, Rosemary Almeida would come along to join the brood. In one final attempt at another brother, Corina (“Cori”) Almeida was born in 1988 and would remain the baby of the family. Mona was satisfied with having completed grade ten but would later be challenged by daughter, Vicki, to obtain her GED because she had made it seem so simple. She signed up, studied a little algebra the night before the test, and walked away with a GED in hand. Mona was a homemaker for the first half of her working life and established Video-Mex Almeida Imports in 1989 with Jorge, Sr. as the first Hispanic business to serve Liberal, KS. The business served the entire community for over two decades and grew in two verticals: one in which Mona took care of the local and regional businesses, and the other served as an import-export distribution business, which Jorge, Sr. operated almost exclusively. They would divorce in 2000. Mona continued her business operations until she retired in 2006. In her personal life, she always held her kids at the pinnacle attending every ballgame, school event, ceremony, and other activities without reservation. God allowed her limits to be challenged by granting her six children who often removed their halos, and although they were chastened, they were always met with grace and the fruits of the spirit afterwards. In retirement, she returned to her duties as homemaker to her grandchildren and is where she really shone: She became the signature grandmother and the standard for all other grandmothers. Her display of strength and courage melded perfectly with kindness and unconditional love, which were further magnified with a new generation of babies who adored her as much as her own children did and already miss her terribly. Mona could man the kitchen like a seasoned veteran and whipped-up meals that were always “the favorite.” Her daughter-in-law, Brooke, loved having Mona over to help her cook only to discover it was she that was actually going to be helping. It didn’t matter what the meal was, grandkids would often comment, “Grandma. You make the best food. I want this every day.” She often tutored her grandkids and had some of them counting back change before they were eligible for kindergarten and startled others when they discovered that her secret codes were in fact the multiplication tables they would later encounter in the classroom. Her teaching never ceased, as in the latter years, she made it evident to her children what was and is truly important in life and remained steadfast in the fight and the Great Commission. The kids could never depart without her signature cross being invisibly inscribed on their foreheads with a “Mucho cuidado,” or “Los quiero mucho.” Mona was also a great collector of all things. Books, clothes, jewelry, figurines, bedding, toys, artwork, and the list goes on. You could count on her to have what you needed regardless of the occasion. Our family estimates that by 2045, we’ll have finally auctioned off the last of the trinkets she liked to keep stored for those “just in case moments.” Amongst the assortment, her favorite things to collect were hugs and kisses from all of those who adored and will forever adore her. She is to be remembered for her grace and compassion and ability to smile in all circumstances, for her resilience and willingness to stand behind her kids and grandkids, even when the odds were not favorable, for her selfless giving of her time and resources to help strangers, for sharing camaraderie and laughter everywhere she went, for loving the unlovable, and for realizing that her jobs as a mother and grandmother were never finite. We thank you for cherishing your children and grandchildren. Can’t wait for the day you welcome us with open arms at the gates of Heaven. See you again soon. Mona was preceded in death by her maternal grandparents, Onofré Gonzales & Maria Gonzales; parents, Robert Mendoza, Sr. and Antonia Saucedo; ex-husband, Jorge Almeida, Sr.; sister, Rosemary Saucedo; and great-granddaughter, Penelope Gonzales. Survivors include siblings, Antonia (“Toni”) Gonzalez, Jesse Saucedo and wife, Linda Saucedo, Faye Wells and husband, Steve Wells, Nefro Saucedo and wife, Martha Saucedo, Robert (“Bob”) Mendoza, Jr., Terri Mendoza and Pat Mendoza; children Jeri Garcia, Mari Almeida Holguin and husband, Gerardo Holguin, Victoria Zamora and husband, Martin Zamora, Jorge Almeida, Jr. and wife, Brooke Almeida, Rosemary Juarez and husband, Alfredo Juarez, Corina Almeida and husband, Jose Cadena; grandchildren, John Jacoby Gonzales and wife, Kristen Gonzales, Jovani Gonzales, Jaden Gonzales and wife, Jenny Gill, Tekodah Garcia, Taylyn Garcia, Angel Minjarez-Almeida and wife, Sophia Minjarez-Almeida, Azriel Minjarez-Almeida and wife, Andrea Minjarez-Almeida, Luis Holguin, Gerardo Holguin-Almeida, Sebastian Holguin-Almeida, Jose Vasquez III, Zulema Almeida, Isaiah Almeida, Haven Almeida, Oakley Almeida, Trystian Juarez, Ayden Juarez, Jyzelle Juarez, Alexis Cadena Almeida, Aaliyah Cadena; great-grandchildren, Emmaline Gonzales, Leonidas Gonzales, Layland Gonzales, Ellianna Gonzales, Zayden Vasquez, Jovanni Zamora, Jacobi Vasquez, and Aavier Vasquez. • Rosary to take place on February 18, 2022, at 7:00 p.m. at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church located at 1510 N. Calhoun Ave. in Liberal, KS. Funeral services presided over by Father Augustine to take place on February 19, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church located at 1510 N. Calhoun Ave. in Liberal, KS. Interment will follow at the Restlawn Cemetery located at 8955 U.S. Highway 83 in Liberal, KS.
Ramona (“Mona”) Marie Almeida passed away peacefully at BSA Hospital in Amarillo, TX, on February 11, 2022. She was born in Fort Morgan, CO, on April 14, 1952, to Robert Mendoza & Antonia Saucedo. Mona spent her early years enjoying... View Obituary & Service Information
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